This project's car body is made from plastic composites that can be produced from plants and is more easily bio-degradable, and is therefore potentially very lightweight!
Building Cars For Our Eternal Children's Genes, Using The Energy That We Still Have To Make The Worl
|This project's car body is made from plastic composites that can be produced from plants and is more easily bio-degradable, and is therefore potentially very lightweight!|
|by Kim Gyr|
We live in the paradise of cheap energy, still! But, how long that will last is certainly the knowledge of a very few of the world's people. As the cliff edge of fossil fuel poverty approaches, what will our children do to work, build, grow food, and survive?!
Travel is both a major part of the survival equation and a major contributor to fossil fuel depletion, global warming, pollution and climate change. Can we not do better, especially while we have the energy means to make a difference to the millions of years that people will depend on transport in the future?
I believe that we can, in many many ways. And, when and where we can, we must, if not yesterday then this morning at least! For, any of the petroleum that we burn is subtracted from both the energy bank that is rapidly dwindling for future generations, and from the bank that is used to make practically all plastics. And, imagine what the world would be like without plastics - aircraft could not fly because they would be far heavier, and likewise the energy budget for all kinds of transportation would be far higher!
Therefore, the sooner that we can develop sustainable alternatives, the more likely that our genes, in the form of our children, will survive at current global population levels…it is that stark! Are there alternatives outside of the extremely paltry efforts that major car makers are proposing, and unfortunately this market is demand driven, so it is up to us to demand real and substantive alternatives before the manufacturers will even consider changing and adapting their dinosaur production time scales to the new reality that is already upon us?
There are alternatives, at the tips of our noses, all our noses! We are all aware of public transport systems and alternatives, where the energy cost per person per mile, or kilometre, is a fraction of what individual cars, especially SUVs, can hope for! We must immediately begin to use them, and to press for better, quieter, cleaner, more comfortable (so that people will use it) and more fuel efficient public transport from all public administrations!
We must also begin to design alternatives to individual transport units/cars and scooters, and there are thousands of new design graduates emerging from excellent design schools at the end of every semester. They are already inspired, the only thing some of them need is direction, and this is a direction that is already vital to the well-being of the generations, including theirs, that will follow ours.
So, we must design cars that use less fuel - make them lighter, first of all! We must make them more fuel efficient - use hybrid drive systems and the energy recuperated from the very considerable energy that is lost in braking for every car that is currently on the road. We must make them much much safer, for the number of lives and dreams that are lost every day represents an enormous loss to humanity! Make them able to use all kinds of fuels, simultaneously if needs be, for that is also a vital part of energy sustainability and availability. And, make them last longer and be more easily recyclable, for that is also an essential part of using our dwindling energy supply wisely!
This project's car body, whose prototype form is illustrated here, is made from plastic composites that can be produced from plants and is more easily bio-degradable, and is therefore potentially very lightweight! The part of the structure illustrated in green is resistant to deformation while that shown in yellow is deformable, using a trigger mechanism in the bumper to detach the front suspension A arms, and to then crumple in a controlled way under impact, which reduces the deceleration caused by the impact of any crash, as the two cars will slide past each other. The lower parts of the sides and the rear of the vehicles are sloped inward so that an impacting car simply raises the impacted car up on its reinforced, inclined bonnet and roof as it slides underneath, pressing the occupants of the impacted car on their entire contact surface into their seats. The cars all have a very strong roof structure so as to prevent its collapse in the impacting car.
The car also has a gas turbine - flywheel hybrid engine, the flywheel being also a disk/electric motor such that power can be either input to it or output from it, closer to its centre or closer to its circumference. It runs at constant velocity, yet provides the variable power output required of vehicle engines using this disc/motor system, which at the same time provides recuperative ABS braking using the electric drive motors/generators at each of the 4 wheels.
The gas turbine can burn powdered solid fuels, eg. coal dust, as well as liquid and gaseous fuels without conversion, even simultaneously. Both it and the disc/flywheel run at a constant speed, which should also make them more fuel efficient.
The body has as low an aerodynamic drag ratio, CD , as is possible within this format and, as in all car design, there will be considerable competition to design something that is both very efficient and that will make their owners appeal to women, or men, more. Its hatchback design itself will appeal to man and women with children and shopping duties, and the 4-wheel drive/ABS will also make the car safer, in addition to its evident crash G-force reduction features.
This design is the result of some thoughts that I developed following a car crash in Kenya, after which my heart stopped for 10 minutes! I know that current car technologies and designs do not protect their occupants, even with airbags and safety belts, nearly enough. Nor will they save our world from the all too rapidly approaching petroleum/energy poverty scenario, which this car with its high fuel efficiency, multi-fuel capabilities and plastics from crops car body may help us to do.
I am now putting these ideas into the public domain on a license/patent-free basis in the hope that our genes, in the form of our children and whose eternal existence may explain how we as individuals fit into an eternal and infinite universe, may have access to the same standards of living that we have enjoyed in this 200 year long, finite, fossil fuel rich era.
Any enquiries as to the carefully considered details of this and many other elements of an entirely sustainable infrastructure, which we must all develop or face extinction along with a dramatic change to ours and the world's environment and very soon, are available on request from: firstname.lastname@example.org Given the risks that we are all currently running, I am happy to participate in a discussion for the construction of this new infrastructure pro bono, in the hope that we can really make a difference to all our children's lives, and for the generations that will follow theirs!
The content & opinions in this article are the authorâ€™s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag
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